Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fitbits new Alta HR activity tracker

I've been a Fitbit user for years. I have an original flex and I can honestly say that considering its primary job is as a pedometer, I tend to use it very differently than its original intent. Its primary purpose in my case is as a silent alarm clock. I don't want to wake my family up with my phone or an alarm clock at way-too-early o'clock, so this little vibrating band has been a godsend. The thing is, other than that purpose, it's really the software and not the hardware that I use this for.

Sure the sleep monitor is kind of cool, but to be honestly I tend to find it out of whack. I tend to switch between totally active sleeper (think running in my sleep) to log to laying there without moving for hours while suffering from an absolute random bout of insomnia. Sometimes Fitbit picks this up, sometimes not, and honestly I can't say that I've looked at my sleep metrics much after the first couple of weeks.

I will say that the guilt trip I get from not wearing it for a couple of days or for spending a few days totally sedentary while working seems to be pretty good, especially with the weekly report. It does give me a little push to try and be active for the next week. Being able to look back and actually see which days I was active and which I wasn't is good. So is keeping track of my weight and other measurements.

The thing is... most of what I use this for is not the hardware... and there is good reason for that. The location on my wrist tends to interfere with lifting gloves or straps. I have had it get caught on the lip of my chalk bag and either drop into my chalk bag or tumble 40 feet almost hitting my belayer in the face.

Fundamentally thats the problem with my Fitbit flex though, its really good at measuring a couple of things and mostly for running, and not quite so good at measuring the activities that I do. Now to be fair I have no idea how you would measure reps on a leg press with a wrist worn device. Or how the same wrist worn device could ever hope to tell how my clean my movement was while I was climbing (though some kind of altimeter in there would be kinda neat to tell how far I had moved up and down over the course of a day).

Some of this looks to at least be changing with the Alta. Being able to track my heart rate is far more useful to me than number of steps. It will give me some visibility into when I'm ACTUALLY working out hard and when I'm giving it a half assed effort. I may get some metrics into how hard a route or boulder problem actually was for me.

The band design actually looks like it may be helpful too. Having a latching band versus the one on the flex should solve my catch and drop problem, I also may be able to wear it a little higher up on wrist to deal with lifting straps. Plus I still get all the awesome things I use my current Fitbit for.

I guess what I'm saying is, come on April, and just go ahead and take my money now!

Pissing off a candidate before you even talk to them

I recently had the joy of hunting for a new job. Its not a new experience for me, quite frankly I've done it more often than I care to admit. I took the same tactics I always have in the past. Updating my resume, posting it out on some job boards, reaching out to my network and contacting some recruiters that I have worked with in the past. The thing is, during this most recent hunt I became aware of what seems to be a new tactic among some recruiters that quite frankly pisses me off.

I have a good resume, and a lot of experience with all the right buzz words for certain positions. In short to some recruiters I am a dream candidate, and in that respect I can understand why it is they are doing what they do... and that is call me TWO OR THREE TIMES IN A ROW.. or call me EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THREE WEEKS STRAIGHT!!!

Allow me to explain why this is a problem. I have had a pet at the vet undergoing surgery. Im waiting for them to call. The thing is I get so many calls from recruiters EVEN WHEN I'M NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING that I CAN'T pick up my phone on the first call. EVER. My pet could be dying on the table and I have to look at my phone and ACTIVELY choose whether its worth the risk to answer the phone. I have a child that may or may not need to contact me from a strangers phone in case of an emergency... Guess what? same problem! What if my wife gets into an accident? Bank needs to get in touch with me? Any one of these scenarios!

Look, I get it, you guys are trying to make a living... But heres the thing, I used to be able to just assume that if I got one call from a number it was a recruiter, I'd listen to the message and then decide if I wanted to call them back. I mean hell that's why I have a phone... MY CONVENIENCE... not yours. If someone called me twice in a row I'd assume that person had a legitimate reason... NOT ANYMORE!

The most frustrating part of it is that I have had people call me like this, AND NOT EVEN KNOW MY NAME OR MY RESUME. I'm sorry, that's just lazy, and if you are doing such a shitty job recruiting me, you can be damn sure I'm not going to hire you to put my in front of a business... After all by agreeing to let you submit my resume, that is what I am doing!

So to summarize, stop calling people non stop. If they aren't into what your offering, they aren't into it. Calling me 30 times over the course of the week isn't going to change my mind. If I don't call you assume I'm not interested. I have 10000 things going on in my life and the reality is that my time is valuable. I am very choosy as to where that value goes, and in that respect try to create a relationship with your recruitee. I may not choose the position that you are trying to recruit for this time, but I am going to be in the market again at some point, and a good recruiter is worth their weight in gold. And for fucks sake know the name and resume of the candidate you are trying to contact. When you don't you just look like incompetent and useless.